Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Capella Space Releases the Highest Resolution Commercial SAR Imagery Available in Market at 50 cm

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 16, 2020
Filed under , , , , , ,
China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (Credit: Capella Space)

U.S.-based smallsat technology delivers unprecedented 50 x 50cm SAR “Spot” imagery to power critical applications for Government, Defense & Intelligence, and Commercial Customers 

SAN FRANCISCO, December 16, 2020 — Today Capella Space released 50cm x 50cm ‘Spot’ imagery, delivering the highest resolution commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery on the market. Prior to Capella, the best resolution on the market was 1m x 25 cm with non-square pixels which created its own challenges.

These previous images were collected with limited bandwidth of 300 MHz where Capella imagery is collected with up to 600 MHz of bandwidth. In the midst of increasing global change, Capella Space is setting the standard for how large organizations extract key insights and make better decisions through Earth observation data. Capella Space’s spot imagery delivers the highest resolution, most usable all-American made SAR imagery data on the market.  

“Everything we do is through the lens of how we can help our customers make better decisions with data and grapple with the accelerating pace of change in the world today,” said Payam Banazadeh, CEO and founder of Capella Space. “After launching our prototype satellite in late 2018 we evolved our satellites with customer requirements in mind with a focus on resolution, quality, latency, and user experience. Last week we unveiled our real-time tasking capabilities that minimizes latency and today we are unveiling our high resolution and high quality capabilities. Our 50 cm Spot imagery is the highest resolution SAR imagery in the commercial market that is allowed by US regulations. As regulations catch up to technologies we will be upgrading and releasing even higher resolution imagery down to 25 cm. All of these breakthroughs, innovations and milestones will ultimately help our US Government, commercial and international ally customers make critical, high-impact and potentially life-saving decisions.” 

Much of the Earth is covered by clouds and darkness at any given time, which disrupts legacy optical satellite imagery, leaving Earth observation data today static, unreliable, and non-comprehensive. At the same time, as the complexities of an interconnected world are increasing so is the demand for reliable and accurate information. Capella Space’s SAR imagery propels the Earth observation industry forward with timely, highly detailed data. The imagery is sharper, more intuitive, and helps users derive previously untapped insights from highly distinguishable features in each image. For Capella Space’s customers these clues have significance for our security and prosperity. 

The First American Commercial SAR Delivers Highest Resolution Imagery Available Today 

Capella Space achieves this new 50cm x 50xm imagery by dwelling its satellites over a single area of interest for up to 60 seconds, a satellite capability uniquely designed and built by Capella Space engineers. Capella Space’s 50 x 50cm SAR imagery delivers a number of key benefits for customers, including:  

  • Highest-resolution–Capella Space’s 50cm x 50cm ground range and azimuth direction delivers a two-times higher resolution than the previously available imagery in the commercial market. Prior to Capella the highest resolution commercial SAR imagery was 1m x 25cm. US regulations do not allow any commercial sales of SAR imagery better than 50 cm in resolution. In accordance to this regulation Capella’s best commercially available imagery is 50 cm, however, Capella is able to sell higher resolution to USG customers.  
  • More usable and effective–Capella’s SAR high resolution imagery delivers more signal with less noise in each image. SAR has typically been difficult for visual analysis due to noise and speckles, but Capella’s unique long dwell Spot mode allows for image clarity that is unprecedented in the market.  
  • U.S. designed, built and operated with a global view--Capella is the only American commercial SAR company that has vertically designed, built, and now operates, its SAR satellites with manufacturing facilities in California and Colorado. The vertical integration and security infrastructure of Capella’s satellites allows the tight integration between hardware, software, and operations which enables new imaging modes like Capella’s unique Spot imagery.   
  • Fastest & most reliable – With Capella’s global network of ground stations and its real-time tasking using the first LEO-GEO communication through Inmarsat Capella’s customers can take advantage of rapid tasking & delivery of Capella’s SAR satellites for their most urgent needs. Capella’s mission operations are built on a fully automated system which removes manual and long interactions between customers and the operator.  
  • Delightful user experience— Capella’s web platform also makes it possible to rapidly task and collect imagery in a secure cloud-native experience, another first for SAR. The result is fewer blind spots in the world and rapid insight generation. 

To learn more about Capella Space and request the company’s new 50cm x 50cm “Spot” imagery, visit:  

Leave a Reply